SXSW 2014 Review: WICKER KITTENS

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

New to SXSW this year is SXsports which includes panels, showcases and films about various athletic activities and sports of different varieties. Included in the film lineup is a funny and interesting look at competitive jigsaw puzzling called Wicker Kittens. This documentary by director Amy C. Elliott covers an annual competition in St. Paul, Minnesota where teams compete to be the fastest jigsaw puzzlers. Each team has some interesting and quirky people who obviously have a passion and possible  obsession with this different kind of competition.

Amy C. Elliott does some fine work here in capturing the spirit of this unusual brand of competition and presents her subjects in an amusing and light hearted way. I would have preferred more insight into these people’s backgrounds and what drives them to be competitive puzzlers. Nevertheless, the film is a fun and entertaining look at a sport that receives little recognition, but one that requires skill and discipline. If one hasn’t had a chance to see it at SXSW, I’d recommend catching it before the festival ends.

Wicker Kittens has one more screening on Friday, March 14, 7:00 p.m. at the Marchesa Theater.

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